Have you noticed how many experts there are in the world? When I need to make a difficult decision and the way forward isn’t clear, it’s amazing to me how many “experts” come out of the woodwork. Many are well-meaning. But so often the “expert” advice of others leaves me feeling pretty small. This can be particularly true when it comes to faith.
Difficult faith questions come up all the time: Should I continue on this path? Is this what God wants for me? I’ve been praying about this for quite a while, why can’t I hear God’s response? All of these questions, particularly the last, are oh-so-inviting for the faith “expert.” Advice such as, “it sounds like you need to be a better listener” or “you’re not asking God the right questions” flow freely. Not only can this feel judgmental, but it can shake my confidence in my relationship with God. It’s tempting to think they must be so much better at this faith stuff. Have you ever experienced this? If so, Job’s your man.
When we encounter Job this Sunday, he’s been through the wringer. He’s suffered incredible loss, and his three friends have a strong opinion about the cause of that suffering. Clearly, it’s Job’s fault. That’s their “expert” opinion. But Job’s response is priceless! To these “experts” in the ways of God, Job replies, “I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you” (12:3). Amen, brother! Even in the throes of his despair, he knows they are not experts in his life of faith.
The next time you’re visited with “expert” faith advice, remember Job. Stand alongside him and remind that “expert” God loves you! God’s in a relationship with you! Experts need not apply.
See you Sunday…